It's a Historic Day in Montgomery, Ala.

Probate judge Steven Reed elected as city's first black mayor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 9, 2019 8:01 AM CDT
Confederacy's Former 'Cradle' Has Its First Black Mayor
Montgomery Mayor-elect Steven Reed speaks at his victory party, Tuesday, in Montgomery, Ala.   (Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser via AP)

Alabama's capital, a city once known as the cradle of the Confederacy and later the birthplace of the civil rights movement, elected its first African-American mayor Tuesday. Steven Reed, already the first black probate judge elected in Montgomery County, clasped the history-making victory to be elected the next mayor of Montgomery after defeating WCOV-TV owner David Woods, the AP reports. Reed, 45, won about 67% of the vote in Tuesday's mayoral runoff, according to unofficial returns. "This election has never been about me. This election has never been about just my ideas. It's been about all of the hopes and dreams that we have as individuals and collectively in the city," Reed said in his victory speech. He said his campaign was built on a coalition focused on the city's future and "all of the things that tie us together rather than those things that keep us apart."

Son of Joe Reed, the longtime leader of the black caucus of the Alabama Democratic Party, Reed will be the first black mayor of the city where Southern delegates voted to form the Confederacy in 1861. The city served as the first capital of the Confederacy but also played a critical role in the civil rights movement. City Hall is located not far from the church once led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and is also near the spot where Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to obey bus segregation laws. Montgomery, a city of roughly 200,000 people, is about 60% black and has been losing population for years. "We're a city that wants to move forward and a city that wants a vision for the future, and a city that wants to see better opportunities across the board," Reed said as he waited for returns. Current Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, who's served since 2009, did not seek reelection.

(Read more Montgomery, Alabama stories.)

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